Professor Panda prepares to teach today’s history lesson…
As many of you may be aware, the big story in the news these days is the violent anti-Japan protests and rioting that’s breaking out all over China. It’s an important news event, for sure, and it seems everybody and their mother (well, not literally) is chiming in with their own two cents on the issue.
For those of you not aware, the protest ostensibly center around the latest junior high school history textbooks sanctioned by the Monbukagakusho (Ministry of Culture and Education) which feature the latest official take on Japan’s actions during World War II, particularly in Manchuria. Protesters accuse Japan of sleight-of-word, revising things like the Nanking Massacre into an “incident”, and other roundabout denials of culpability in countless other warcrimes, the victims of which were more often than not either Chinese or Korean.
the book at the center of the controversy…
I won’t bore you with my opinions on the subject – suffice it to say that while there is some truth to the textbook issue, it pales in comparison to what’s really going on – global powerplays, high level UN politics, socio-economic and military stratagems and so forth.
What I will do is get it straight from the horses mouth, as it were. We all hear about what is supposedly in the textbooks – but what do they actually contain? They say that if you ever want to know about something, you should look it up for yourself, and so I went down to the local bookstore the other day and picked up a copy of (one of) the textbooks in question: “Atarashii Shakai Rekishi” (“(the) New Social History“) in order to find out what it had to say about China, Manchuria and Japanese actions during the second World War.
Completely and shamelessly unrelated to the current post.
Seen on a local street: Rims utterly innappropriate for the tiny 4 cylinder banger they’re attached to.
How quintessentially Japanese.
I’ll try and get around to translating it this weekend and post the results in the next post. No pontificating or uninformed prosetylizing from this lazy panda – just read it for yourself and make up your own mind. Sort of like a public service announcement, right? Only without all the annoying b-list actors.